In addition to having an incredible summer of fun, Summerland Campers are taught how to self-regulate behaviors. Campers leave with the knowledge and experience of how to successfully plan and practice targeted behaviors to reach a daily goal.
Below are some recommended tools to enable your child to continue self-regulating their behaviors upon their return home.
Campers use a pedometer at camp. You can purchase a simple, easy-to-use pedometer here like the ones used at camp.
Campers may want to upgrade to a FitBit, Garmin, or similar activity tracker at home. While not necessary, if the camper would be motivated to be more active with an upgrade to an electronic activity tracker, then this might be a good investment. Parents could also consider this as a potential reward for the successful completion of a behavior contract.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week. 10,000 steps are the general recommended requirement per day. At Summerland, we recommend that the entire family use an activity tracker- not just the child who overuses digital media.
Behavior Planning Journals
At camp, we teach campers how to use a simple composition-style pocket notebook to plan and track their daily behaviors. We refer to this as the “BPJ” at camp which is short for “Behavior Planning Journal.”
There are many different variations of this notebook, and you can find a basic one here.
Parents should understand that we use a very basic format for the BPJ and your child may adapt the journal to a weekly planner, or even an online or smartphone calendar if you feel this is appropriate.
The important thing is that your child’s day is planned and that they mark off accomplishments as they go. This is why we use a pocket-sized paper notebook for this purpose, so it can be readily carried wherever the child goes. Whatever format you and your child choose, it should be portable (pocket-sized) and accessible at all times.
At the Family Workshop, parents receive training on how to use the BPJ and how to support their child upon the transition home. Weekly for the next 90-days after camp staff will be checking in with your child to ensure the BPJ is being completed appropriately.
The surest way to limit screen activity is to have your camper turn in their device (preferably independently, without prompting) to a designated area daily. Alternatively, parents can automate the process by purchasing a device that connects to their router which limits access by the device. An added value is that the device can also limit access to certain websites.
You can find similar models online, but one example is available here.
Additionally, it is recommended that parents learn how to set up parental controls here.
Device Docking Stations
Research has shown it’s critical to not allow screens in bedrooms. We recommend device docking stations for the entire family. Role model for your child by charging your device out of the bedroom in a common area of the home. This way you can also double check at night to make sure your child is not online when they should be sleeping.